Recently, Jan posted about the documentation being done in her guild about weaving. When I commented that I had created a felt sample notebook while writing the book The Complete Photo Guide to Felting, Jan asked that I share the notebook. So here it is!
I want to thank all the people and companies that donated to this effort as I had asked for samples of different breeds of wool, other fiber that felts and different embellishments. That’s how I got a wider selection of fiber. For each sample, I documented the type of fiber, the type of processing (batt, roving, raw wool etc.), how long it took to felt, the amount of shrinkage and any comments about the felt that I thought were good to remember. Each sample started with the same size layout and were all felted in the same way. I guess I should have documented exactly what I did but this was in 2011 and now I can’t remember exactly how they were felted or fulled.
I put all the samples on black construction paper with a small piece of double stick tape and a label beside each piece. These were put into plastic sleeves and stored in a large loose leaf notebook. You can easily slip the pages out of the sleeve to be able to touch the samples and look more closely. Most of the felt samples (without embellishments) are the natural color of the fiber. You can click on any of the photos to get a closer look and be able to read my documentation about each fiber.
Pelsull/C1 Blend and Dorset
Falkland and Finn
Gotland and Icelandic
Merino and Norwegian C1
Pelsull and Polwarth
Romney and Wensleydale
Alpaca and Angora Goat
Angora Rabbit (smaller sample due to limited amount of fiber) and Bison Down
Camel and Cashmere
Llama and Yak Down
The second part of the notebook is about embellishments. I used a merino wool and applied the embellishments to the surface. I didn’t do much documentation on these except to state what the embellishment fiber is.
Silk Top and Silk Cap
Silk Throwsters Waste and Silk Hankie
Silk Carrier Rods and Silk Noil
Rainbow Nylon and Angelina Fiber
Fake Cashmere and Tencel (viscose)
Banana Fiber and Sea Cell Fiber
Flax and Wool Nepps
Wool Slubs and Wool Locks (flat on surface)
Wool Locks (ends loose) and Pre Yarn
Specialty/Novelty Yarns and Cotton Fiber
Soy Bean Fiber
I have always been an advocate of doing samples before starting a project. I think it really saves effort, time and money so that you have an idea how something will work before doing a larger project. Do you make samples? Do you document the results? We’d love for you to share your sample process over on the forum.
If you have any questions about the samples above or about using a specific fiber, feel free to ask in the comments below.